This has been on my list of to-do hikes for a long time – this was finally the year, just needed to wait for the snow to melt. We decided to do this as an overnighter – I’ve heard such great things about the views from the pass that we wanted to spend as much time up there as possible.
We endured the mosquito-fest at Chain Lakes the week before, so we were hoping this would be better – it definitely was. Although there were probably more bees and flies than mosquitos, and the breeze at the top kept them at bay, my wife still came back with a few bites (they don’t like my blood as much…).
The hike up is pretty gentle – you do go up just over 2000 feet from the Rainy Pass/PCT parking lot, but it’s over 5.2 miles, so it’s pretty gradual. There are still multiple water sources along the way – now that we’re in August it can get a little hot, especially in the exposed areas before the pass, so we went through a lot of water.
Not many critters along the way – just a few chipmunks and marmots. Once at the top we found a great spot with a small rock wall that someone built – this helped as there was a breeze out of the south for most of the night.
In the morning we walked a mile or so further on the PCT just to check out the views from there – this section is absolutely amazing. We then packed up and made our way back down – not much to report, it was easy going. Oh, the water crossing about a mile in is a sinch to navigate – poles help, but aren’t necessary.